|The EFA 2000 Assessment: Country Reports|
Part III - PROSPECTS
11. Policy direction for the future
Complex educational-political conception of future development of educational system in the Slovak Republic is contained in program proclamation of current Slovak government from autumn 1998.
The government of the Slovak Republic is regarding education, as one from its most significant and permanent priority. The government wants to establish a society, in which education will be a resource of long-term prosperity of the Slovak Republic, what will influence position of the Slovak Republic in Europe and versatile development of personality of each citizen as well. Government realizes that education towards moral values, social feeling and democracy is forming fundamentals of preventing violence, crime and other negative phenomenon.
The government sees key role of the state in stopping the decay and in ascent conceptual development of education, and in ensuring equity in access to education as well. Role of the state will be to create conditions to secure quality of provided education and to ensure equity with developed European countries. The government knows that it is not possible to fulfil these targets without support of society, Trade Union and non-governmental organisations.
The government will create a long-term conception of education development. At creating it the government is prepared to take into account remembrances and standpoints of decisive political parties, representatives of regions, employers, Trade Unions, teachers and parents public in that way they will get a base of development of education for next 15-20 years with no regard to government changes. In connection with this a new education bill will be prepared.
The government will guarantee for each citizen the right for free education and an education in scope of his faculties at least till he will get a legally independent subject on labour market. It wants to make sure not only to gain secondary education for each citizen, but also a systematic growth of number of high school graduated. During this process the government wants to enable pupils and students to get cost accessible board, accommodation, transport and an effective help in form of scholarship. The government understands education as a lifelong process and so it will prepare conditions for development of further education.
The government will take concrete steps to ensure that certificates of obtained qualification and professional skills will be mutually recognised and would enable our citizens to do well on arising European labour market.
In interest of reaching this goal and to improve quality of education an independent inspection of education will be re-established.
The government will gradually increase the means allocated for education funding so that a ratio of GDP to be comparable with the EU countries. The government will pass a new act, which will ensure a normative distribution of funds to individual schools. As a part of the new law preparation, the current system of funding of non-public schools will be reconsider. The government will ensure that the level of financial support to private, church and public schools will be comparable. The government will take precautions so to ensure that the funds for education will be used effectively and under public control through the school self-governments. The government will introduce a principle that the charges from parents or students will remain at the particular schools or educational establishments.
A state support to students, especially those from needy families, will be determined by law. Enterprise activities of secondary and high education institutions will became much more advantageous through the fiscal policy, if the income of enterprise activity will be invested into education development.
The government regards necessary to create conditions for improvement of teachers social status and will support it through the state and public services bill. Based on negotiation with Trade Unions, the government will yearly ensure a growth of salaries.
The government will propose to establish the system of government loans for beginning teachers to motivate them to draw up contract about lasting appointment in schooling. The government will re-establish services, that were been in past traditionally provided to all teachers (included teachers of schools for national minorities) through the methodical centres, specialized institutions and other branch establishments.
Existing national standards for professional skills of teachers will be reconsidered, so that they achieve European standards.
The government will ensure a sufficient capacity of pre-primary education institutions, in order to children would enrol ready the grade 1 of primary schools. In harmony with the long-term concept of public administration, the government will propose to shift pre-primary and primary schools under the control of the local authorities. Gradually will adjust curricula of primary education, in order to lay more stress on basic knowledge, strengthen pupils creativity, and improve linkage of successive grades.
More stress will laid on outdoor education and more favourable conditions for it will be arranged, so that the youth would secured from wrongful influences thanks creativity and hobbies development.
The government will elaborate the analysis of secondary school network and start its entire improvement, included system of fields of study with regard to regional and national needs and to labour market situation. Based on results of analysis, the transfer of particular competencies to the higher regional authorities will be considered. Stress will be laid upon quality of secondary education qualifications and upon successful entrance of school-leavers into the labour market, with regard to lower the youth unemployment rate. The precautions will be taken to improve quality of leaving examinations and the school leaving examinations to prepare the further standardisation of education.
The government pay special attention to improvement of vocational education and to apprenticeship training. The precautions will be proposed to strengthen a linkage among (secondary vocational schools), entrepreneurial sphere, Chamber of Commerce, trade associations. The issue of founders will be defined unambiguously to remove the existing double-track arrangement connected with the education-funding law. The conditions for establishment of integrated schools will be legislatively treated.
One of strategic goals is to remove corruption in connection with admission to higher education and to achieve broader linkage between higher (tertiary) and secondary education. The complex programme for talented youth will be agreed. Special precautions will be taken with regards to disabled children education.
The government will guarantee improvement of average educational level of citizens belonging to minorities to the average national level and will secure preparation of teachers for schools with minority language, theologians, cultural and social workers in minority languages through establishing appropriate institutional level within existing universities. Both, two-language certificates and two-language teaching documentation will be re-established in the Slovak Republic. The government is interested in improvement of Slovak language teaching in schools with Hungarian teaching language and will be support progressive methods of Slovak language teaching in these schools.
The government will improve management of education system, beginning with headmasters as basic elements of education management. As a minimum is necessary to give back financial and personal competencies to Education Departments of region and district authorities.
In connection with the concept of State administration, the government prepare a proposal for establishing local education authorities. The co-ordination function of ME in relation to primary and secondary schools and school institution will be strengthen, included autonomous ministerial department for minority, church and private schools.
Changes in Education Act will strengthen position of self-government both in schools and in region.
Close relation between family and school will be supported.
The government will create conditions for gradual increase of number of students in higher education institutions, without decrease of quality. In cooperation with members of academic community, the government will elaborate the concept for further development of higher education system for 21st century. The plan for implication of this concept will include precautions stressed on quality of education, management and funding of higher education institutions. The government supports a system of multiply funding and the budgeting of higher education institutions as non-profit organisations.
The government prepares the new Education Act corresponding with European parameters.
The government supports strengthen of higher education institution integrity, reconsidering and internationalisation of present system of evaluation and accreditation, and establishment and maintenance of specialised information systems. Differentiation of higher education institutions and their inner diversification will be introduced.
The government supports further development of post-graduate study. Social conditions for study will improve, included finishing new buildings for accommodation of HE students. The government will support both, the abroad study and establishing branches of foreign universities. In the cooperation with the Conference of Slovak Bishops, the government will judge the possibility to establish the Catholic University.
The presented part of the Government Programme Declaration was negotiated by the Parliament Committee for Education, Research, Youth and Sport in November 1998. The Committee agreed the Declaration. As follows, after the parliament give the enunciation of confidence to the government, ME elaborated a document called the Activities for realisation of Government Programme Declaration. In framework of this document, ME SR has undertaken to:
Taken precautions and targets are elaborated into partial action plans for particular sections of ME SR. Works on these mentioned and other plans are running and they can be assessed later, especially in the date of the end of functional period of the government.